It takes a little time to get a compost "line" going and it also depends on how much you need because obviously if you are just starting out and you wanted to top the beds with compost then you'd have to import it until your own is ready.
Bagged compost is pretty cheap a 25L bag of Richgrow compost from Bunnings is about $3.50 but the quality is ordinary - almost sterile...
A little homemade compost goes a long way because it's full of nutrients, microbes, worms, and holds water better than dirt. Now that most of my beds are pretty mature, I usually just add a small amount of compost to a bed when planting new seedlings/seeds or as a topper around perennials. I tend to always have enough compost to keep me going with my 3 bays cycling through and my manure pile.
Actually, I'm going to be doing a video on slow composting on my 3 bays soon.
Backyard composting like most people do is good on a smaller scale, however, if you intend to use it for commercial crops I would look at composting in big heaps (similar to how the council dumps do) except with more love. Large piles of a good organic matter mix generates a lot of heat and breaks down fast so with regular turning from a backo or dozer you could manufacture a lot of compost in a short period.
If you don't have compost and it's just for a backyard veggie patch (own use) then you can still use plain old soil with added organic fertiliser and sugarcane mulch for pretty good results! But in the long term soil health is critical and nothing beats adding your own organic matter back into the garden to create a great growing medium that's alive, plus it's a sustainable way to grow.
Thank you #Mark I haven't tried the stuff from bunnings because to go to a bunnings is about one and half drive, hate to say it but the South Burnett area would do well if we could get one.
I am trying some mushroom compost which I brought from our local landscape supply. I have planted carrots in some. No soil to see how they grow. In another container I have done like a no dig setup with sugar cane mulch and cheap potting mix and mushroom compost layered. And planted pac chow. Then down the yard I have dug some rows and mixed in some soil from the chicken pen and some mushroom compost in small amount and have punkin and bush beans growing these are my trail plots so far.
That's good Darryl, experimenting with different mixes and mediums is a great way to work out what's best and easiest for your property to create that self-sustainability which is one of the most important things.
I let my chooks make my compost.
I put horse manure, leaf litter, chook house bedding (shavings with chook poo in), mushroom compost & whatever else I have into a pile in the chook run & they scratch it through.
I pile it all back up with the manure rake & they scratch it over again & again.
Then I use that as mulch around fruit trees mostly.
Its not very good quality due to my soil not growing very healthy plants or horses for that matter so the resulting compost is also deficient but it does some good.
If I had more chooks I could make more compost & dig it in everywhere.
But I find 3 to be the right number of chooks for me to care for right now.
Darryl, just thinking about using mushroom compost to grow plants in.
Be careful regarding it's pH. Always check that so you don't waste your time planting certain plants in it.